MMR does not cause Autism.

Sure, Merck’s Vaccines Division, Julie Gerberding confirmed to CBS News while she was Director of the CDC that, “if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.” That’s just a loose tie though. That’s not the MMR vaccine CAUSING autism.

And that explains why the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) confirmed to CBS News that of 1322 cases of vaccine injury compensation settled out of court by the US Government saying, “We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.” Settling outside of court isn’t admitting fault. It’s not wanting to waste more time. I mean, that’s just kind of how “settling” works. Since there is a very loose and indirect tie, they would have been tied up in courts for decades to come.

So, are there any known causes of autism? Well, in 2002, Walter Orenstein, M.D. wrote Assistant Surgeon General, Director National Immunization Program in a letter to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer saying, “… rubella (congenital rubella syndrome) is one of the few proven causes of autism,“

That’s why the CDC urges us so strongly to get the MMR vaccination. I mean, contracting the disease is bad enough, and now we know that the disease can cause autism!  The CDC states on its website, “The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated (weakened) virus which is usually given as part of the MMR vaccine (protecting against measles, mumps, and rubella).” So, that’s what the R stands for in MMR.

The CDC goes on to say, “Rubella vaccination is particularly important for non-immune women who may become pregnant because of the risk for serious birth defects if they acquire the disease during pregnancy.” Yeah, I mean, especially since congenital rubella is a known cause of autism, you definitely do not want to risk your baby being exposed to rubella in the womb!

Thank goodness the vaccine is a weakened strain of the live virus. Otherwise, I might worry that exposure to the live vaccine might end up causing autism.

So anyway, there you have it, clear as day.  The MMR vaccine does not cause autism. Exposure to rubella can though.


  1. Wow, I’m a bit taken back after reading this. Are you really accepting that as fact? Rather than going into it all, I will simply refer your readers to this eloquent post with the same title - Important to note that this one has a conclusion much closer to what I was expecting to read on your blog. As a public school teacher and a mother of 4 beautiful not-vaccinated-anymore children (7 yrs and younger), I am very proud to say that my eyes have been opened and I cannot take what the CDC says as truth, I’m sorry. I’m actually working on a post for my blog with this title – “No shots, No school….NOT true”. After watching my oldest child suffer with a vaccine injury, I cannot allow others to be as blind as I was. We should all know the facts (which is what I have to question in this article)…know your rights…and know the law. I couldn’t be more proud to walk into my campus and register my children with notarized vaccine exemption papers in hand. The school was great about it too, because it was legal (in TX at least)! But I am not alone…this is just the beginning. We are educated, we are aware and we are not going away. I birthed naturally (3 of the 4 empowering water births), I am a breastfeeding advocate and I normally love your posts…I was just surprised to read this one, that is all.

  2. Julia

    I think she is being sarcastic… Because they’re saying MMR doesn’t cause autism but exposure to rubella can and it’s a live vaccine which is therefore “exposing” you. At least thats how I understood it 🙂

  3. I, too, saw this post as extremely sarcastic and NOT advocating MMR. My husband and I are a military family stationed in Germany. Our baby is following the German vaccine schedule, which is far less intense. Germans don’t even begin vaccines until at least 6 months of age. Many Euopean doctors, including my own, question why American practices expose infants to so much, so soon. America has more vaccines then any other nation – which, ironically, correlates to America’s surprisingly high autism and SIDS rates, the highest in teh world for such a developed country. I’m not saying correlation proves causation, but it is certianly something to think about.

  4. Christine

    As the last 2 posters said, this is meant to be read sarcastically. Before I got to the last couple lines, I was thinking the same thing: “Oh, so rubella can cause autism, but having rubella injected into you can’t? Riiiiiight!”

    Kathryn – I think we Americans will be relying on countries like Germany to produce actual studies showing vaccines’ dangers, not just the reactions listed on the package but the long-term stuff too. You know they won’t be doing those studies here in the US. I’m still waiting for the first study to compare the long-term health of vaccinated children vs. non-vaxed. I asked my ped why this hasn’t been done, and he said it would be unethical to ask a group of children to go without vaccines for the sake of a study (or any reason). I told him I could find a dozen volunteers just among people I know, let alone if I went online :).

  5. Well I guess I can see how this is meant to be sarcastic after reading it with a fresh set of eyes, sorry if I seemed cranky. Either way, I’d rather avoid the sarcasm and reinforce the right to make an educated choice on the vaccine issue in America. I want information that I can share and educate, but this one is a bit too vague for my taste.

    • Really, the only sarcastic part was the title. The rest of the blog is “facts” that are being presented to us by the FDA and CDC. If we choose to come to a different conclusion based on the facts that are presented to us, that is our own brains at work… and when it comes to parenting, we have to use our own brains based on facts. Not just accept the deductions of facts from others.

  6. I have to agree with Jennifer and that a post covered in sarcasm such as this does not really educate on the topic of the MMR vaccine. Additionally, the fact that a CDC official states that rubella MAY lead to autism is simply not enough. What was the context that quote was given? Is there research to state that any case or only severe cases of rubella can lead to autism? This quote does not imply either way and it is seemingly left to interpretation. It is clear that you have taken it to mean any case of rubella but, initially, I read it to say that full blown cases of rubella can lead to higher rates of autism. Consequently, my reading of the quote would lead me to believe that the MMR vaccine protects my child from this avenue of increased risk. I think before we throw out vaccines all together, it is wise to look at the complete picture and not snippets of quotes posted around the internet.

  7. ““Oh, so rubella can cause autism, but having rubella injected into you can’t? Riiiiiight!””

    It doesn’t matter one bit how I feel, or whether this is sarcastic. What matters is what you do with the facts.

    Rubella is one of the few live vaccines. Rubella exposure can cause autism.

    I just don’t think it takes a rocket scientists to come to the conclusion that perhaps the MMR vaccine has raised the rates of autism because of that simple fact.

    In response to Nichole, autism has very few known causes, however, one of the few known and medically accepted causes is congenital rubella. I didn’t feel a need to back up the quote, because its an accepted and proven cause medically of autism.

    • I am not disagreeing that rubella is one of the very few accepted causes of autism nor am I asking you to back up that quote. I am just questioning to what extend of exposure of rubella is linked to autism. Is it severe cases or is it mild exposure that could be from a vaccine? Having a full episode of rubella is very different than being exposed to a live attenuated vaccine. I am just curious in what context the research has been completed. From my perspective, if the research only considered the link between autism and children who had severe cases of rubella, it does not have significant bearing on whether there is a link between the vaccine and autism. Similarly, if the research only considered the link between autism and severe cases of rubella, it seems that it would be safer to vaccinate your child to reduce the risk of severe exposure to the virus and the consequently higher risk of autism. As you mentioned, as parents we need to know all of the facts as we make our parenting decisions and I completely agree. I would, however, just add that we need to know in which context the facts were derived in order to apply them properly.

      • The extent wasn’t mentioned in the quote. Prior to the vax, if you got rubella from birth-18 months, it was considered congenital. Of those, as you will see in the links I gave, a significant percentage developed autism.

        There is not testing on live weakened rubella and its role in autism. The should be. So, the answer you are looking for, our government is unwilling to look into. Why?

  8. The reason that I didn’t provide a link was that in general, when I am writing a blog, I will search through PDFs of .edu and .gov sites. I do this because this automatically weeds out blogs and news articles which are often unreliable sources. It makes for much more challenging research, as often one blog must be researched for four to five hours. The problem with PDFs is that sometimes, they must be downloaded to be readable. They often do not have a preview from a web address. I then save the PDF on my computer so that if someone requests more info, i can email the pdf. Unfortunately, all of my previous PDF files are trapped within my broken computer. I will be getting info off of the hard drive eventually, but for now I don’t have that.

    So, understanding the need for back up, I have done another search. Which is what I had hoped you would do with the information if it is doubted. You can search for the proven causes of autism and see that congenital rubella is indeed a proven cause of autism quite easily. The context of the quote is that he was stating just as this blog says: Autism isn’t caused by the vaccine. The vaccine is needed to prevent autism because congenital rubella can cause autism.

    I don’t see why his quote matters though for the purpose of this blog. It’s just a writer’s way of integrating information. I could have just stated it, sure, but I liked the flow of it in his voice better so that it would sound less sarcastic. It also was the exact part of the document I read that made me step back and say, “What?!?! Am I the only one that sees the implications?” I wanted to walk you through the journey that MY thought processes went through to see if you would come to the same conclusion.

    I also wanted you all to question if I was serious or sarcastic so that the actual information would be more thoroughly looked at, if only to figure out what the heck my own personal view was.

    I think about stuff like that. When I blog, I put a lot of thought into the tone of the blog, what point of view to come from, what tools I can use to recreate the situation as it happened in MY brain. This blog took several hours to write. It w as important to me that it be exactly what happened in my own head, and I had to think very creatively at how I could create what was in my head for all of you. And it appears, by everyone’s frustration and desire to know more, that I was successful.

    At anyrate, I can’t give you the PDF of the exact quote, but if you need more proof that it is a given that one of the few proven causes of autism is contracting congenitial rubella…,+1978&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

    At any rate, if it’s really important for everyone to know my actual opinion on the MMR vax, I will share it, though it should be stated that I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.

    For my daughter:
    She will not get the MMR.
    When she becomes of age to reproduce biologically, I will get her a rubella-only vaccine so that she does not risk getting rubella as an adult and passing it on to her child.
    She will almost certainly not be getting a measles or mumps vaccine. If she gets measles and mumps, we will treat her with a combination of allopathic and naturpathic medicine.

  9. leanne

    i want to clarify, because I think Nichole’s question is a good one, and it ends up an important one, because there is misinformation here. It is Congenital Rubella Syndrome which can cause autism. Congenital Rubella Syndrome does NOT develop from exposure to rubella from birth to 18 months. Congenital means you have it at the moment of birth – the exposure is IN UTERO, mostly in the first half of the pregnancy (exposures later in pregnancy typically do not result in the syndrome, due to the timing of the neurological development of the fetus). Let’s be clear – Dr Walt was also very clear, and if you read thoroughly many of his writing on the subject and understand the difference between congenital and acquired syndromes or injuries, you will understand this too – that exposure to live rubella virus, whether live attnuated in a vaccine or live “in the wild”, once you are born, is *not* a known or confirmed cause of autism (outside the risk of autistic characteristics which may co-occur due to encephalopathy due to severe reaction to live attenuated or live “wild” virsuses – many of them). Three times in this blog entry I read misinformation that exposure to rubella virus after birth is a proven cause of autism – only fetal exposure to rubella is a proven cause Congenital Rubella Syndrome resulting in autism / autisitic features.

    That said, it’s true, you definintely DO NOT want your fetus exposed to rubella – which is part of the argument FOR vaccinating the population when they are young and not pregnant – so (a) women of pregnancy age are not being exposed to the vaccine when they don’t even know they’re pregnant (and that’s a commonly stated problem with alcohol and other drugs, women saying they didn’t even know they were pregnant when they exposed their fetus to the substances), and (b) pregnant women can move around their communities not living in fear of contacting and contracting rubella in public because (mostly) everyone is immune and not spreading the live virus around

    But don’t get the MMR if you are of pregnancy age and not 100% sure you cannot be pregnant, agreed!!!

    • leanne

      also, re: reasons for vaccinating against rubella in childhood, (c) if a pregnant woman has antibodies because she was previously vaccinated as a child, the fetus will also be protected even if she is exposed to the live virus in her community

    • I understand that CRS is inutero, however, the information that I found specifically stated that the concern goes up to 18 months. When I get my hard drive from my old machine, I will email you the document I downloaded. My hard drive crashed, as I mentioned above. I assure you it is not misinformation I gave you. I was very careful.

      And yes. I’m not a super pro vaxer, but I fully believe the rubella vax is a good one for females to get after age three (for brain development) but before her first period. But that’s just me…. having weighed out my own concerns of worry.

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